The exact date of the foundation of Trooditissa Monastery, situated on the southern slopes of the Troodos Mountains, is not known. But according to local tradition, the monastery was established immediately after the iconoclastic era (around 990 AD). As with other monasteries, it was preceded by a hermit who resorted there during the years of the iconoclasm.
Nothing remains of the monastery of the Middle Byzantine period or the period of Frankish rule. The oldest reference to the Monastery of Trooditissa is found in a copy of a 14th century deed. The church, as well as the monastic buildings, belong to a later period and can be dated to the end of the 18th or the 19th and 20th centuries (the main building was completed in 1731). The heirlooms saved in the church of the monastery also belong to these later periods. The present church, dating to 1731, contains valuable icons including a precious icon of Panagia covered with silver-gilt from Asia Minor.
Monk Damaskinos (1939 - 1942) and his success or Abbot Pangkratios, revived the monastery after it came close to being dissolved in the 19th century. A large religious fair is held every year on the grounds of the monastery on August 15th, day of the Dormition of Panagia. Prayers to the holy icon of Panagia give hope to childless couples wishing to have children.References:
Castel del Monte, located in the municipality of Andria, rises on a rocky hill dominating the surrounding countryside of the Murgia region. A unique piece of medieval architecture, it was completed in 1240. The castle’s location, its perfect octagonal shape, as well as the mathematical and astronomical precision of its layout all reflect the broad education and cultural vision of its founder, Emperor Frederick II.
As a leader of modern humanism, the Germanic Emperor brought scholars together in his court from throughout the Mediterranean, combining Eastern and Western traditions. The castle’s unique design, an octagonal plan with octagonal towers at each angle, represents a search for perfection. Interior features reflect Eastern influences, such as the innovative hydraulic installation used by Frederick II for bathing in accord to the typical Arabic customs.
The site is of outstanding universal value in its formal perfection and its harmonious blending of cultural elements from northern Europe, the Muslim world and classical antiquity. Castel del Monte is a unique masterpiece of medieval architecture, reflecting the humanist ideas of its founder, Frederick II of Hohenstaufen.